DECAdated Nashoba Students take on Nationals


Olivia Magliozzi, Contibuter

Nashoba students have been craving sunshine and fun ever since they suffered through this exceptionally raw winter. Students Kaitlyn Thorogood, Andrea Labonte, Kylie Schenck, John Vasington, Ben Hart, Cam Jesson, Brendan Baldwin, Marykate Magliozzi, Tess Anderson, Gabby Demeo, Cayla Murphy, and Brianna Murphy had the amazing opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida on April 25th. However, their travel was not granted without hard work and  dedication. These business-excelling students represented Nashoba in the national DECA competition presenting their meticulously created business proposals.

As the DECA members competed, the rest of Nashoba followed them through social media. Everyone saw numerous Instagram posts of the competitors sporting their fly DECA blazers with pictures captioned #DECAdimes and #DECAdated. At the start of the trip, senior Andrea Labonte posted a picture with the caption, “get ready for a bunch of DECA pictures everyone, taking Orlando by storm.” Senior Kylie Schneck showed her love of DECA by captioning her picture, “D1 DECA #DECAIsMySport.” Junior Brianna Murphy captioned her picture, “we love school,” making the Nashoba crowd jealous of DECA members’ relaxing pool time.

This select group of Nashoba students conquered their business categories at regional and state levels and recently had the opportunity to compete at the national level. Reaching the highest level of competition is a commendable feat that all the competitors should be proud of. Seniors Kaitlyn Thorogood, Andrea Labonte, and Kylie Schneck worked as a team to compete in the Hospitality and Tourism Research (HTOR) category. They built a five phase plan that would increase the presence of Generation Y at the international. Another team, Ben Hart, Cam Jesson, and Brendan Baldwin competed in the Finance Operation Research (FOR) category. Tess Anderson and Mary Kate Magliozzi competed in the Business and Merchandising Operations Research (BMOR) category. They created a marketing plan to attract teenagers into the Paper Store. Gabby Demeo competed by herself in the Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (ENI) category working to create a business plan to launch an online based company called CheekyDanceWear that will import costumes from individual sellers overseas and connect them to buyers in the US through social media.

Brianna Murphy, Cayla Murphy, and John Vasington participated in the leadership conference. They learned how to step up and be leaders at the DECA Thrive Academy. Junior Cayla Murphy shares that she “learned important life skills like networking, communication, working in a group, and personal branding. We learned a lot that we are able to bring back to Nashoba’s DECA chapter.” They participated in conferences that will help them empower others.

The DECA students also got to relax and celebrate their achievements by heading to the magical Disney parks. The DECA superstars visited both Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. MaryKate Magliozzi boasted, “We met Buzz Lightyear and danced with the Incredibles!”. They were also fortunate enough to participate in the scavenger hunt hosted by the DECA Massachusetts advisors. The DECA students were tasked to find items and places in Downtown Disney: an outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex. They found a volcano at the Rainforest Cafe, acrobats at the Cirque du Soleil, and pictures of Walt Disney scattered around the complex.

All DECA students will tell you they had the times of their lives at DECA Nationals. MaryKate Magliozzi says, “It was awesome. We experienced something people don’t normally get to take part in their high school career.” Her teammate Tess Anderson remarks, “I hope we get the chance to compete again next year.” Let this be an example for all aspiring DECA superstars to work hard next year to qualify for DECA nationals and have boatloads of fun.

Picture Courtesy of MaryKate Magliozzi